John Hardy

The management and employees of John Hardy take being environmentally conscious as seriously as they do their jewelry designs. But they don’t advertise the fact. Although it’s lately become popular to market ‘green’ causes, you might not know John Hardy has been at it for years.

It’s all about authenticity, says Damien Dernoncourt, president. ‘When we at John Hardy speak about our marketing, the emphasis is on great design and handmade quality of our artisans and craftspeople. Yes, we are a green company and trying to be an even better one, but it’s not something we advertise.’

Although a small logo on John Hardy advertising refers to ’sustainable luxury,’ a concept that includes giving back when spending money for business, the company’s efforts aren’t touted in advertising and marketing materials. ‘The fact is, being green is really part of our brand DNA,’ says Dernoncourt, who points to other successful green brands, like Patagonia, which has been a model of authentic environmental activity.

Dernoncourt led a management buyout of John Hardy last June. John Hardy, the company’s founder, and his wife Cynthia, left to pursue their own philanthropic endeavors, many in Bali, their home where the studio and workshop are located. Dernoncourt says Hardy’s vision continues to inspire employees in the company’s offices in Bali, Hong Kong, and New York.

The company’s first initiative involved planting bamboo, the long-lived, fast growing perennial grass that can grow to mammoth size. John Hardy, a seasoned environmentalist, initiated the planting of bamboo in Nusa Penida, an island near Bali where deforestation had ruined the tropical landscape. Bamboo also has a role in the making of John Hardy jewelry. The company’s workshop, Kapal Bamboo, which is situated amid rice fields, is made entirely of bamboo and alang-alang grass. No hardwood, which takes years to grow and is endangered in many tropical rainforests, was used. Designed by Malaysian architect Cheong Yew Kuan, the workshop cost only about $6,000.

The bamboo collection is carried through in the company’s sustainable advertising program, which is funded by a limited edition collection of sterling silver bamboo jewelry which is available on its web site, Each piece of bamboo jewelry is inscribed inside with the number of bamboo seedlings that will be planted as a result of the sale of the jewelry.

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on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 12:45 pm and is filed under Jewelry News.
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